China set to step up offshore military capabilities


China has announced a change in military strategy, which will see it boost its naval capacities farther beyond its shores. This comes amid tensions in the South China Sea, where there are competing territorial claims.

A policy white paper unveiled by China’s Cabinet, the State Council, on Tuesday, said that in future, the People’s Liberation Army would place a greater emphasis on “open seas protection” as opposed to “offshore waters defense” alone.

It also said China’s air force would shift its focus “from territorial air defense to both defense and offense,” while at the same time the army would implement measures to increase its global mobility. Artillery forces are also to increase their capabilities to launch “medium and long-range precision strikes.”

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